c Brandeis Libraries: Honore Daumier Lithographs
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Brandeis University Libraries
2001 IMLS Leadership Grants

I. Biography
II. Art of Lithography Note
III. Potential Use and Audiences
IV. National Impact
V. Adaptability
VI. Project Design
VII. Management Plan
VIII. Personnel Plan
IX. Project Evaluation
X. Dissemination of Project Results
XI. Sustainability of Project

Subject Matter: Biography
Honoré Daumier (1808-1879) was a French lithographer, painter, and sculptor who gained wide notoriety for his social and political commentary on the monarchy, politicians, and the middle class. Daumier was witness to three revolutions (1830, 1848, and 1871) which transformed France from a monarchy to a republic.

Daumier was 22 years old when Louis-Philippe became the constitutional monarch of France in 1830. In July 1830, a pro-republican revolution in French ousted the reigning king, Charles X, and the Bourbon regime. Although the working class favored a republican form of government, the Marquis de Lafayette threw his influence behind a limited monarchy, and the new legislature then instituted a constitutional monarchy. Louis-Philippe was offered the crown in exchange for honoring a charter that limited his powers.

Louis-Philippe's reign, known as the July Monarchy, lasted 18 years, from the revolution of 1830 to the revolution of 1848. Throughout this time France was torn between various rival factions: Royalists (who supported the old monarchy), Orléanists (who backed the new monarchy), republicans, and Bonapartists. In the early years of his reign, Louis-Philippe’s basically conservative outlook was strengthened by a number of workers’ demonstrations and by several attempts on his life. Although he was a constitutional monarch, Louis-Philippe gained considerable personal power by splitting the liberal movement and appointing weak ministers. As the new legislature proved to be equally unresponsive to the economic needs and political desires of the lower classes, Louis-Philippe became increasingly unpopular.

In November 1830 a print publisher named Aubert and his son-in-law Charles Philipon started an anti-monarchist weekly paper called La Caricature. Daumier, an ardent republican, began contributing political cartoons to the publication. His caricatures of Louis-Philippe were so popular that the monarch was prompted to re-introduce censorship. Daumier was eventually sentenced to six months in prison for his anti-monarchy lithograph titled Gargantua, published in La Caricature in December 1831. The lithograph portrayed a bloated Louis-Philippe on a commode, waiting while the starving citizens of France struggled up a plank to deposit treasure in his gaping mouth. Below the commode, various favorites of the King scurry about picking up the honors and ribbons obligingly excreted by the King.

In December 1832, Aubert and Philipon began a second publication, Le Charivari, credited with being the first daily paper to be illustrated with lithographs. Daumier continued to contribute his political satires to both publications. In 1834, in order to pay the censorship fines imposed on his newspapers, Philipon started a large-format publication (essentially a "print-of-the-month" club) titled L’Association mensuelle lithographique. Many of the lithographs contributed by Daumier to this publication are considered to be among his masterpieces, including the lithograph titled Rue Transnonain (1834). In this lithograph Daumier portrayed a poor, working-class family mistakenly shot to death in their home by troops from Louis-Philippe’s army. The King attempted to have all copies of the print confiscated and destroyed.

In 1835 the French government prohibited political caricature entirely, and so Le Charivari was forced to restrict itself to satires of everyday life. Daumier published nearly 4000 lithographs in this publication between 1835 and 1860, averaging eight lithographs a month. He created a critical panorama of France’s social classes in transition from an agrarian society to an urban, industrial society. Modern technologies such as railways, steamships, and photography emerged during this time, adding material for the social criticism and satire of the growing inequalities of nineteenth-century French society.

Famine, unemployment, and a financial crisis provoked the revolution of 1848, causing Louis-Philippe to abdicate. During the winter of 1847-1848, a shortage of food drove prices high, particularly in the cities. Workers held demonstrations to demand affordable food. They were joined by liberals who were interested in promoting their own political goals, including gaining the right to vote. To put down the protests, the French government sent its army to dispel the crowds. The crowds resisted, building barricades in the narrow city streets of Paris to stop the soldiers. The turning point came when shopkeepers and master artisans, who made up about one-fifth of the population of Paris, joined the demonstrators. When they sided with the workers and the liberals the balance of power turned against the king, who fled the country. The Second Republic had begun.

In late 1848, Louis Napoleon, nephew of Napoleon I, was elected the first President of the Second Republic. Bonaparte served only three years as President before he did precisely what many had feared he would do - he abolished the Republic and its rights of free speech, free assembly and free elections and made himself Emperor.

Daumier once again returned to political satire, publishing lithographs in other publications in addition to Le Charivari, where he seemed to be losing favor. In 1860 Le Charivari abandoned Daumier completely, claiming that readers had "tired" of him. He continued to create political satires, publishing primarily in the newspaper Le Boulevard, founded in 1862. Ironically, Napoleon III’s administration proved to be more liberal than the past regime, allowing and even encouraging caricature. Le Charivari once again hired Daumier (in 1863), where he continued to publish lithographs until 1872.

In 1870, the Franco-Prussian war erupted. Emperor Napoleon III surrendered to the Prussians on September 2, 1870. Two days later, the Republicans in Paris staged a bloodless revolution and proclaimed the establishment of the Third Republic, definitively marking the end of centuries of monarchy. In January 1871 Paris fell to the Prussians after a four-month siege. By the terms of an armistice signed later that month, the rest of France elected members to a National Assembly in February, which was to vote on whether to make peace with the Prussians. A majority of the members were Royalists who wanted to restore the monarchy and favored acceptance of the peace terms dictated by the Prussian prime minister, Otto von Bismarck. However, the radical Republicans and socialists in Paris considered Bismarck's terms humiliating and continued fighting. On March 17 and 18, the Republicans in Paris led an uprising against the national government. They established a proletarian dictatorship in Paris and called for the election of a municipal council. This council became known as the Commune of 1871, and its members as Communards.

The National Assembly sent troops to Paris to suppress the revolt. From May 21 to 28, a savage civil war ensued. More than 20,000 Communards were slaughtered by government troops. The Communards in turn burned numerous public buildings in Paris and shot hostages. The Commune fell on May 2 8, 1871.

The provisional republic created after May 1871 juggled several competing political groups: The Radical Left; The Conservative Republicans; and the Monarchists. In 1875 the National Assembly passed, by a margin of one vote, a resolution establishing a republic. The new laws provided for a president, a parliament in two chambers, and a council of ministers, or cabinet, headed by a premier. At the end of 1875 the National Assembly dissolved itself, and the provisional phase of the Third Republic came to an end.

When the first Chamber of Deputies was elected in 1876, the Republicans won more than two-thirds of the seats. In 1879 the Republicans won control of the Senate.

Daumier died in February, 1879. His funeral, on February 14, coincided with the consolidation of power by the Republican party.

Subject Matter: The Art of Lithography
In addition to his depictions of and commentary on French politics and society, Daumier is increasingly valued as an artist. He was one of the earliest users of the lithographic process.

Lithography, invented in Germany in 1798, was the first fundamentally new printing technology since the invention of relief printing in the fifteenth century. It is a mechanical process in which the printing and non-printing areas of the plate are all at the same level, as opposed to intaglio and relief processes in which the design is cut into the printing block. Lithography is based on the chemical repellence of oil and water. Designs are drawn or painted with greasy ink or crayons on specially prepared limestone. The stone is moistened with water, which does not affect the areas covered by the crayon. An oily ink, applied with a roller, adheres only to the crayon lines and is repelled by the wet parts of the stone. The print is made by pressing paper against the inked drawing.

Lithography had a difficult time being accepted as a legitimate technique, let alone as a "high" art form. It was commonly used for commercial and popular purposes such as advertising posters. Use of the technique by respected artists of the nineteenth century brought some prestige and acceptance to lithography. In addition to Daumier, European artists using lithography included Goya, Delacroix, Degas, Whistler, and Toulouse-Lautrec. Among American artists noted for their lithographs are A.B. Davies, George Bellows, and Currier & Ives. In the twentieth century lithography finally found a respected place among fine art techniques, and is now seen as an important technique with unique expressive capabilities.

Daumier the artist distinguished his lithographs by a robust drawing style that was accurate in composition, modelling and chiaroscuro, even when used in caricature. He also experimented with caricature sculpture, and produced a series of small terracotta busts of parliamentarians, which were cast in bronze after his death. The busts featured gross exaggeration of the subject’s most prominent features and characteristic expression. Many of Daumier’s lithographs commented on the difficulties of a sculptor in mid-nineteenth-century France.

Daumier began painting in 1834, and eventually completed more than 300 oils and water colors. Following the 1848 revolution, Daumier received some State commissions for religious paintings, and exhibited works at the Salons of 1849, 1850, and 1851. His paintings offer vigorous brushwork and a sense of movement and light - qualities often associated with Daumier’s lithographs.

Several contemporary critics considered Daumier worthy of comparison with Hogarth and Goya. Balzac compared Daumier with Michelangelo. In 1857 Baudelaire wrote:
"What completes Daumier’s remarkable quality and renders him an exceptional artist who belongs to the illustrious family of the masters, is that his drawing is naturally colorful. His lithographs and his wood-engravings awake ideas of color. He evokes color, as he does thought."

Potential Use and Audiences
Daumier’s lithographs portray French society during the turbulent waning years of the French monarchy. He was witness to three revolutions, as well as the development of an industrial society. His subject matter, artistic style and choice of medium are each important areas of study:

  • Scholars and students of social sciences can study the lithographs for their depiction of a rapidly developing urban and industrial society, the displacement of an agrarian society, and the social inequalities existing in nineteenth-century France;
  • Scholars and students of history and politics can study the lithographs for their depiction of three revolutions, the politicians involved, and the last decades of a monarchical government;
  • Scholars and students of art can study Daumier’s work as one of the earliest and most important uses of lithography;
  • Scholars and researchers of Daumier will now have access to original source materials via the world wide web.

National Impact
This project is important in showing how access to rare and fragile works may be offered in a variety of ways that enhances their use, by making them available in the context of other materials useful to a researcher or student. Instead of simply making the Daumier lithographs available as a stand-alone database of digitized images, we will incorporate the images and their catalog records into our library catalog, making them a seamless part of the library’s collection of information resources and presenting them with other scholarly materials. Our Daumier website will offer access to additional web resources and will build upon, and complement, other scholarly websites of digital resources, such as Northwestern University’s Special Collections Department’s The Siege and Commune of Paris, 1870 - 1871 (
http://www.library.northwestern.edu/spec/siege/). Our goal is to show the potential of using an integrated library system to store and access information resources with standards-based metadata, using the new technologies of the current generation of client-server library systems to deliver the information in various contexts, suiting the divergent needs of scholars and students.

We believe our goal is important in helping to meet libraries’ needs to serve distance learners and remote users. How can we (all libraries) best provide library services to users who, increasingly, prefer to find information on the world wide web? How do we ensure that the information that libraries make accessible via the web is easily accessible as well as enhanced by the skills and knowledge of library professionals? How do we offer remote users access to those rare and special collections which, until now, have been limited to in-house use?

Our vision is to have our integrated library system serve as both the repository of our digital information resources and information on our holdings as well as the delivery system for access to them both. We are using technology to make our ILS much more than an online catalog of holdings. We are pushing the limits of the automated library system and digital image software to create a seamless research tool for scholars and students across the world.

Any library or organization with a sophisticated integrated library system would be able to offer the same level of services for their collections and information resources. The software we will use is commercially produced; variations are offered by several different vendors. We will be adhering to proven national standards for the creation of our digital files and metadata. The "value-added" information in our catalog and on our website will be created by librarians. We hope to create a model which other organizations may use when planning to offer digital access to their rare and special collections.

We especially believe our project can serve as a model for other libraries which might not have large collections of special or unique materials, but which might have one or two special collections of interest to scholars world-wide; collections that would contribute toward the digital resources available in a certain topic or that would enrich other existing digital collections. The local resources (staff and equipment) devoted to special collections in these libraries are often limited; but our example of the use of outside contractors and existing library technology will show that it is possible for libraries of all sizes to offer enhanced access to special resources.

The DigiTooLibrary digital collections software module is also a key piece to achieving our ultimate goal of making our integrated library system the central portal to all of our collections, regardless of physical format. This is a goal we believe we share with other libraries. After successful completion of the Daumier project, we plan to apply our experience and the digital collections software to other digitization projects. Our Helmut Hirsh Collection, our Louis D. Brandeis Collection, and our Yiddish Sheet Music Collection are just some of the possibilities for future projects.

Brandeis University is one of the leaders in Jewish studies and our library has several important archival collections in antisemitism, the Holocaust, Zionism and the history of Israel and American Jewry. The digitization of these collections would be the first step to making them accessible to the worldwide community of scholars. The digital images of the rare photographs, correspondence, and documents of these collections could then be added to our integrated library system and made accessible via the world wide web, with access enhanced by the use of the DigiTooLibrary software. We are excited by the possibilities presented by the current technology, and confident that our Daumier Project can be used as a model for other libraries, regardless of the types of materials they may be interested in digitizing and providing access to.

Project Design
During the past five years the Brandeis University Libraries have been moving increasingly towards the concept of a "digital" library, with the concurrent need to provide services to offsite users. Electronic resources take up 20% of our current (FY2001) library budget, and are available (according to license restrictions) to offsite users via a proxy server. In 1999 we created a "virtual" intercultural library (http://www.library.brandeis.edu/icl/ [link obsolete as of August 2005]) meant to serve the needs of students and researchers interested in intercultural studies. In 2001 we are planning the first iteration of a virtual "primary text center" which will offer web access to and information on our primary text materials, most of which are in microform format.

Also during the past five years our Special Collections and University Archives staff have investigated various means of increasing access to those collections. Initial attempts to provide digital images of some of our collections are shown in our online exhibits of our Van Vechten photographs (http://lts.brandeis.edu/research/archives-speccoll/events/vanvechten/exhibit/index.html) and our Book of Hours (http://lts.brandeis.edu/research/archives-speccoll/events/bookofhours/index.html). We have also collaborated with Tufts University’s PERSEUS project by participating in the digitization of our Shakespeare First Folio (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.03.001).

In considering a new integrated library system, we specifically looked for one which would offer the ability to integrate digital files into the system. In July 2000 we implemented the Ex Libris ALEPH500 system, which has a client-server architecture and the ability to integrate digital images. A new, additional module, the DigiTooLibrary module, will offer more sophisticated search and display functions for the digital information in our ALEPH system.

The design of this project grew out of the fact that we now have everything in place to offer sophisticated access to digital images of our rare and special collections - except for the digital images themselves. Our ability to produce digital images of our special collections is limited to small collections and objects because of staff, equipment and space restrictions. Our desire to make our collection of Daumier lithographs widely accessible presented the immediate problem of how to digitize the lithographs. Because the lithographs are fragile, they must be handled carefully and in a space large enough that they will not be damaged by folding. The digitizing scanner must be large enough to accommodate a lithograph 18 inches by 22 inches. Many of the lithographs are on newsprint paper, which allows bleed-through of the printing on the obverse side. The digital images will require sophisticated image manipulation to achieve a "clean" image. The number of lithographs in the collection (3,872 unique images) also prevents us from attempting this work in-house.

Research into local digitizing services began in earnest in December 2000. The Brandeis University Libraries benefit from our proximity to the Northeast Document Conservation Center and to other institutions (such as Tufts University and Brown University) involved with digitizing projects, so that referrals and advice on services are easily accessible.

We will contract with a professional service to create the digital images of the lithographs. As we remove the lithographs from our Special Collections vault in order to prepare them for shipment to the contractor, we will take the opportunity to have our Preservation Officer review each lithograph and note any work to be done before it is replaced in storage.

We will create the MARC21 record for each lithograph in the Libraries. Two graduate students will be hired and trained to create the records under the supervision of the Project Leader. We will use Art and Architecture Thesaurus subject headings in the MARC21 records to assign search terms specifically suited to describing works of art. The records will include an English translation of the lithograph captions, which will be fully indexed and searchable in our integrated library system. The English captions will be provided by an experienced Special Collections librarian, a former Brandeis staff member (now retired), who has already begun working on the captions on a volunteer basis. We will send our bibliographic records to Library Technologies, Inc. for authority control of subject headings. We will upload our bibliographic records into OCLC at the end of the project, which will make the Daumier lithographs available through WORLDCAT.

The digital images of the lithographs will be stored in a separate database within our Ex Libris ALEPH500 system. Our specifications for the digitized images are based on the work done by the Library of Congress’ American Memory digital library project; on the recommendations given in the Handbook for Digital Projects: A Management Tool for Preservation and Access by the Northeast Document Conservation Center; and on the Research Libraries Group (RLG) Preservation Program Tools for Digital Imaging, produced by Cornell University’s Department of Preservation of Conservation.

The Master or Archived images will be achieved by scanning the lithographs at 400 dpi, 8 bits per pixel, grayscale or in 24 bits per pixel, color. (If the original lithograph is on colored paper, the scan will be done in color in order to preserve the physical integrity of the item.) The Master images will be in the TIFF format, uncompressed and unsharpened. Thumbnail images will be imbedded in the MARC21 records, which will be searchable via our public access web catalog. The thumbnail images (150 pixels tall, JPEG format, sharpened images) will lead researchers immediately to the reference/print copy of the image. The downloadable image (for printing and reference) will be 800 pixels long-side in the JPEG format, using a JPEG compression ratio of 10:1 for grayscale images and 15:1 for color images.

We plan to digitize two-thirds of the lithographs during the first year of the project, and the remaining one-third during the second year of the project.

During the first year of the project we plan to purchase and install the DigiTooLibrary software module created by Ex Libris (USA) in order to enhance access to the digital images of the lithographs. This module will allow us to store the digital objects with the descriptive metadata that describes the objects and with the administrative metadata that opens and controls the objects. The DigiTooLibrary software also offers the ability to store, search and display the data content of text pages coded in SGML and XML, thereby simplifying access to resources that normally require a variety of access methods. By cataloging the images in MARC21 with both AAT and LC subject terms, we will be providing rich and complex subject access to users. But too often this subject access in a traditional online library catalog is little understood or employed by users. The DigiTooLibrary software gives us the flexibility to organize our digital files into various groupings that can be broadened and narrowed based on virtual associations created by us, the librarians. Thus, we will be able to create broad categories of subjects for the user; for example, the subject term "justice" could be associated with other related terms, such as "courtrooms" or "lawyers." These broad subject categories would be presented to a user in an easy-to-navigate list or index for exploration, along with the more traditional subject and keyword searching capabilities.

The implementation and configuration of the DigiTooLibrary module will be done in-house. The Brandeis University Libraries manage all information technologies and the integrated library system with an in-house systems staff.

At the same time that library staff members are creating the MARC21 records for the lithographs, other library staff will be collaborating on a comprehensive website on Daumier, which will also incorporate the digital images of the lithographs. The goal of the website is to present our Daumier collection in the context of his time, linking to other websites and resources pertinent to scholars and students of Daumier and the history of France.

Management Plan
The Project Manager will be Susan V. Wawrzaszek, Librarian for Administrative Services and Information Systems. Ms. Wawrzaszek will ensure compliance with all Federal regulations and coordinate fund expenditures and reporting within the University and between the University and the IMLS. Ms. Wawrzaszek will have the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the project continues to meet its goals.

The Project Leader will be Susan Pyzynski, Librarian for ILS Development and Special Collections. Ms. Pyzynski’s position focuses on two important project areas: automated library systems and cataloging of non-traditional materials. Ms. Pyzynski has taken the lead in digitization projects for the Brandeis University Libraries; her work can be seen in our online exhibits of the Van Vechten photographs and the Book of Hours. She will be responsible for coordinating all work done in-house, as well as function as the primary contact for the digitization service.

Within the Brandeis University Libraries, Ms. Pyzynski reports directly to Ms. Wawrzaszek, ensuring close communication throughout the grant project.


  • Project Manager: Susan V. Wawrzaszek; Librarian for Administrative Services and Information Systems
  • Project Leader: Susan C. Pyzynski; Librarian for ILS Development and Special Collections
  • Project Assistants:
    Leslie Reicher; Preservation Officer
    Mary Moynihan; Manager, Integrated Library System
    Anthony Vaver; Humanities Librarian
    Mark Alpert; Social Sciences Librarian
    Darwin Scott; Creative Arts Librarian
    Graduate Student Assistants (2)

Project Evaluation
This project will be evaluated on an on-going basis. The Project Manager will have the ultimate responsibility for evaluating project progress.

Quality control procedures will be incorporated into the workflow in order to meet our goal of thoroughly examining 20% of the digital images supplied by the contractor to ensure that the images have met our standards.

Standards for the digital images have been set as follows:

  • Master or Archived images: TIFF format, uncompressed, unsharpened. Achieved by scanning the lithographs at 400 dpi, 8 bits per pixel, grayscale or in 24 bits per pixel, color. (If the original lithograph is on colored paper, the scan will be done in color in order to preserve the physical integrity of the item.)
  • Thumbnail images: JPEG format, sharpened, 150 pixels tall.
  • Reference/Print images: JPEG format, 800 pixels long side, using a JPEG compression ratio of 10:1 for grayscale images and 15:1 for color images.

The process of creating MARC21 records for the lithographs will be continuously reviewed by the Project Leader. We anticipate a workflow which allows a graduate student assistant 25 minutes to catalog one image and link the image to the cataloging record.

The process of creating a website based on our Daumier collection will take the combined efforts of the Project Leader and the Subject Bibliographers in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Creative Arts. The website should continuously grow as new digital images are made available, and as the Bibliographers expand research guides and links to other web information. The Project Leader will be responsible for updating the website with information about the project itself. We anticipate substantially updating the website at least once each month for the duration of the project.

The Manager of our Integrated Library System will be responsible for implementing the DigiTooLibrary module.

This project will be judged a success if, by September 30, 2003, all images have been successfully incorporated into our integrated library system with accompanying MARC21 records; a comprehensive website presenting information on the project and on Daumier’s life and times has been created and made publicly accessible since the beginning of the project; and if the new DigiTooLibrary module has been successfully used to enhance access to the digital images.

Dissemination of Project Results
The MARC21 records we create will be uploaded into OCLC, which will make them available through the WORLDCAT information resource. Students and researchers will have access to our Daumier collection through our online web catalog (
http://louis.brandeis.edu:8991/F) and through WORLDCAT, a popular database of library catalogs. Libraries subscribing to the OCLC network will also have access to our MARC21 records.

Furthermore, we will create and maintain a Daumier website. We plan to use this website in two ways: to share information about the project plan and specifications, the progress of the project, and an on-going evaluation of the project methodology and to provide additional information about Daumier, his work and his times by presenting research guides and links to other relevant websites, along with access to the lithographs themselves.

The website will be an important tool for sharing our findings with other institutions, allowing them to learn from our project. Since digital collection management software that integrates digital objects into online library catalogs, such as DigiTooLibrary, is a new and emerging technology, we regard this project as a test case. Other institutions can learn from our project how to manage digital objects, whether lithographs, photographs, or manuscript pages, as part of their integrated library system.

The website will also become an important tool for scholars and students, as we seek to develop a site that will provide comprehensive information on Daumier - including access to digitized primary source materials. The website will provide one example of how libraries can reach and teach distance learners and offsite users.

We will also plan to host a lecture during the second year of the grant, highlighting our work to date. The lecture will be advertised widely, and will give institutions an opportunity to learn first-hand about our digitizing project and the possible applications of our project.

Sustainability of Project
The MARC21 records and linked images will become part of our integrated library system and as such will be maintained as a part of our system. The website will be a part of the Brandeis University Libraries website, expanding on the concept of our Virtual Intercultural Library website (http://www.library.brandeis.edu/icl/ [link obsolete as of August 2005]). We assume that any future need to move to a new integrated library system will include the provision for maintaining access to our digitized images.

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